An Open Door to Design: Cartagena, Colombia

September 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi everyone! Recently, I was lucky enough to travel to Cartagena, Colombia to attend their Bridal Week which was hosted by the Sofitel Santa Clara. The event was wonderful, the hotel was gorgeous but the city was more than I could have ever imagined! If it wasn’t for the humidity I might have almost forgotten to breathe as I snapped away with my camera lens trying to capture all of the inspiration I could. Everywhere I looked around me was a vignette I couldn’t live without documenting (I am that person on a trip–always with my camera out!). The small cobblestone streets, the colonial architecture complete with balconies filled to the brim with bright pink and purple flowers that overflow from the second story windows, the sidewalks barely large enough for two to walk side-by-side which forces a closeness amongst the people, the mini taxis buzzing around the streets and the double doors that are painted beautiful hues with lines and textures that only weather and time can help create…Cartagena is a magical place! Most of the magic for me, however, was in the doors and the door-knockers. I was mesmerized by the ironwork and colors and just couldn’t get enough. Here are some of my favorites:

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

 

SONY DSC

 

 

SONY DSC

DSC02095DSC02093

 

DSC02261

 

SONY DSCDSC02080DSC02105DSC02166SONY DSCIMG_7457IMG_7440IMG_7462DSC02253As always, thanks for reading A Fresh Coat! I hope you enjoyed these images as much as I enjoyed capturing them and sharing them with you. Please come back to read more info about my experience in Cartagena! XOXO Jen

Fall Fashion! Already?! Budget With Me, Ladies!

August 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

It feels like I was just at the beach and suddenly my inbox is overflowing with back to school deals and fall fashion. Last week we had a few days where the temperature dropped and I suddenly had that fall feeling come over me where I wanted to put on jeans, my riding boots and break out the pumpkin scented items. I’m not ready, though–I still have visions of palm trees in my head! This summer has just flown by but this weekend I decided to jump on the bandwagon and check out the Arundel Mills Mall for some fashion deals. If you’ve never been there, it’s a great outlet mall in Hanover, MD, only about 30-40 minutes from DC (it also is across the way from the Maryland Live! Casino which is pretty fun, too!). I saw a lot of things I wanted to buy but budget-wise I’m just not ready to do my fall shopping.I did however need a new black cardigan and I could always use a new dress! I stopped by Old Navy because they were really pushing their sales this weekend ($19 jeans are my fav) and I happened to find a great option and only spent about $33 total for two pieces!

I scored this very nice, flattering ponte-knit shift dress in dark gray for $17 (hey lucky for you it’s only $11 online!):

The material is very thick so it is a perfect dress to transition from a cold office to a nice fall day! I’m considering ordering the other colors (salmon, turquoise, black) online as well because I really like the way it fits and I can easily make it as dressy or casual as I want. I can’t even decide which bright, bold necklace I’ll pair with this dress yet–options=limitless.

Picture 1

 

I also picked up a black cardi because I wear them all the time in the office over my sleeveless dresses, etc. and they were on sale for $17 at the outlet store. Online they are $25 but if you use code CHOOSE20 you will get 20% off your entire order and ON always has free shipping over $50.

Picture 2I only spent a little bit but it was exciting to buy my first pieces for fall–and at such an amazing deal! If I didn’t have two pairs of jeans in my closet with tags on them still I probably would have went for the $19 jeans sale as well. I’m almost a tad bit excited to start going through my clothes to make a donate pile so I can start adding some new pieces to my tiny, tiny closet!

I should also mention, ON also has their Super Cash promotion going on so if you have some shopping to do, I’d head in now! I do like getting basics here like tees, tanks and workout clothes. Sometimes, you luck out with a cute dress, too! Here’s how the Super Cash works:

Picture 4

 

Then you can bring in your certificate for the amount you earned off your next purchase (dates will be on the coupon).

As always, thanks for stopping by and I hope to post more this month and share some good deals with you, too! XOXO Jen

 

July 4th Sales!

July 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi everyone! Happy 4th of July! Hopefully you are all off from work today and have the day to relax and do whatever you like. One of my favorite things to do is take advantage of all of the sales over the holiday. Here are a few good ones happening today/this weekend, along with some of my fav July 4th picks:

Express

Striped romper, on sale for $26.94

Striped romper, on sale for $26.94

$20 off $60, $40 off $120 or $80 off $240 with promo code 9238 (also available in store)

Shorts and sandals are 50% off and they have a good selection of dresses that are 40% off.

New York & Company

 

 

Marble Bead Bid Necklace, on sale for $7.99 from $26.95

Marble Bead Bib Necklace, on sale for $7.99 from $26.95

Picture 15

 

Crate & Barrel

Picture 17

Patriotic String Lights, on sale for $20.37 from $34.95

Patriotic String Lights, on sale for $20.37 from $34.95

Bath & Body Works

Picture 20

LoftPicture 21

Sprinkle Dot Cami Dress, $19.80 on sale

Sprinkle Dot Cami Dress, $19.80 on sale

Victoria’s Secret

Picture 24

These are some of my favorite sales going on today! Hope you get to do a little shopping in between the BBQs, fireworks and family time! As always, thanks for stopping by and come back again soon! XOXO Jen

 

Pitcher Perfect!

June 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

 

Picture 5

Limited Edition SOMA

It’s no secret that DC has some pretty nasty drinking water and every year when I get my  water report  I am horrified by the contaminants found in my tap water (arsenic!) so I always use a filter. It’s just a bonus when you find a product that has a purpose, a sleek design and is eco-friendly like the SOMA! The container is made of shatter-proof glass and the filter is a combo of coconut shells, silk and a plant-based (PLA plastic) casing so the entire product is compostable. It’s tiny, at 10.7 inches tall and 6.5 inches in diameter, so it fits perfectly in my apartment-sized refrigerator and holds about 6 glasses of water. When I first picked up the empty container I thought it would be much heavier but it is very sturdy and once you fill it with water, it gets weighed down perfectly. The filters need to be replaced about every two months depending on how much water you use (they recommend replacing at 40 gallons filtered) and they offer a subscription service so you will never forget to buy them! I love the white original SOMA, below,  but I really like the pop of color on the limited edition SOMA, above. For every limited edition SOMA purchased, the company will donate $12.50 to charity: water who helps bring clean drinking water to people in developing nations.

As always, thanks for reading A Fresh Coat and please be sure to stop by again soon! XOXO Jen

 

Picture 7

 

 

Picture 6

 

 

Recipe: Cauliflower Crust Pizza! Healthy and Delicious!

June 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

IMG_6589This weekend I was stuck inside not feeling so great but I did manage to take a walk to Trader Joe’s and grab some ingredients to make cauliflower-crust pizza. I’ve been hearing about the creative ways you can substitute cauliflower for low-carb recipes (mashed “potatoes” and Alfredo sauce are two others I want to test) and I finally decided to give it a try! I LOVE pizza and would probably eat it every day if cheese and bread weren’t horrible for you in mass quantities! I ended up using a recipe I found from a blog called Glow, which of course I modified just a bit to suit my taste buds. I found this recipe to be worth the extra time it took to make because it was extremely tasty and so much healthier than regular pizza. In all fairness, I also made plain old pizza dough for my date and I just in case the cauliflower recipe didn’t turn out so hot–we both really enjoyed this version though and I vowed to make it again!

Have these items out and ready:

Food processor
A lot of paper towels
Parchment Paper
Coconut Oil Spray (or any non-stick cooking spray)
Cookie sheet

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower, cut in small sections
1 cup low-fat skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Tomato sauce
Toppings for pizza (I used onion, pepperoni, green bell peppers, tomatoes)

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place cauliflower in food processor and process until the texture resembles rice or coconut shreds. Don’t over-process as this will leave you with mush. We don’t want mush.

3. Pour cauliflower in a large bowl and heat in the microwave for 6 minutes.

4. Grab your roll of paper towels and get ALL of the moisture out of the cauliflower. I was amazed at how much water was in there but it really needs to come out or your crust will have to bake longer or possibly suffer a mushy fate. I did this for a while and my crust wasn’t too sturdy at the end so take heed!

IMG_6579

mix ingredients

5. Mix 1/2 cup mozzarella, egg, garlic and salt and pepper into the cauliflower until it is well-mixed and becomes slightly sticky.

6. Place parchment paper on cookie sheet and spray with non-stick spray.

IMG_6580

raw crust

7. Place dough on the tray and flatten out so that the crust is even. You can expect your dough to have about a 12-14 inch circumference.

8. Bake the dough for about 30 minutes. The time may vary depending on how much water was left in your cauliflower–mine took about 35 minutes for the edges to start to brown.

baked crust

baked crust

IMG_6584

added my toppings

9. Once the crust is ready, take it out and apply your sauce, cheese and additional toppings. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until cheese begins to bubble.

IMG_6588

My slice, which immediately broke apart and I ended up eating with a fork.

Enjoy!

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you get a chance to try this recipe–I promise, as long as you add the garlic (sorry, Italian here!) you will love it! XOXO Jen

 

 

New World Market at BB&B: Matcha Ginger Latte

June 3, 2014 § Leave a comment

Picture 2

World Market gold kili Matcha Ginger Latte, $7.99

 

Ever since I got my NutraBullet around the holidays I have become obsessed with making smoothies! I started reading about different types of additives to make my smoothies more filling and healthier, like chia and flax seeds, and then I read about matcha (or maccha) powder. I’ve been hearing about the benefits of green tea for years-it’s an energy and metabolism booster  and cancer fighter on top of being tasty–and when I learned it came in a powder form, I was intrigued.

Matcha powder is made by grinding the entire green tea leaf which makes it more potent and therefore more beneficial than simply drinking the water that had the leaves in it. This prep also allows you to take in fiber, which is always a bonus! According to various online sources, you would need to drink ten cups of green tea to match the benefits you get from drinking one serving of matcha powder. There seems to be a lot of internet arguing going on as to the type of matcha powder one should consume but I think it’s safe to infer the most organic one with the least amount of additives would be the best one to try (your best bet would be to order it online).

I wasn’t able to find the powder at my usual grocery store stops (Giant or Safeway didn’t carry it and Trader Joe’s was out of their version) but I did happen to see the above delicious-looking ginger smoothie version at the new World Market at Bed, Bath & Beyond in Chinatown the other day. At $7.99 I decided it was worth a try since there are ten servings and it has ginger in it which is great for keeping your stomach calm. I was a little nervous the powder would be too strong for me because sometimes green tea makes me feel sick but it wasn’t at all! I mixed it with part almond milk, water and about five ice cubes in my NutraBullet and I had an amazing, light smoothie for breakfast! Next time I head to TJ’s I am going to check out their brand, especially since it’s $3.99 for 12 servings! I have felt very focused and satisfied today, so I’m curious to see how I will feel after a week of drinking these lattes!

Have you ever tried matcha? What do you think about this little green gem?

Picture 3

Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Tea Latte, $3.99

As always, thanks for reading and I hope you have an awesome, energetic day! XOXO Jen

A New Happy Couple and A Gorgeous Gown!

June 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

Hi all! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend. Since it’s wedding season I thought I would put up a post dedicated to a gorgeous dress that was seen at a celebrity wedding over the weekend: Theia’s Emma cherry blossom ombre petal gown. Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallem had a rustic wedding celebration at the San Ysidro Ranch where Linda donned the Emma gown. The designer was inspired by the Greek goddess of light and the dress is hand-embroidered with more than 100,000 laster cut petals, each of which is secured with a small glass bead. The V neck dress also has a long train behind it which looked absolutely stunning against the gorgeous backdrop during their nuptials. Looks like ombre is still in! I def am loving this look!

As always, thanks for reading!! XOXO Jen

Linda Wallem and Melissa Etheridge (image via Twitter)

Linda Wallem and Melissa Etheridge (image via Twitter)

Theia Emma gown

Theia Emma gown

Theia Emma gown

Theia Emma gown